Today’s edition of the Washington Post has a fantastic article touching on the AG/LG jockeying for position heading into 2009. The article builds on some of what I have mentioned here as of late. The full article is worth a read, but here are some juicy excerpts:
…Bolling’s political success this year is based on more than his distance from the transportation plan.
With all 19 Senate Republicans basically unified on big votes, the chamber’s Democrats have struggled to keep their working majority. The Senate deadlocked last week on a vote to cut off state funding to Planned Parenthood because it offers abortion services.
The 20 to 20 vote meant Bolling was able to break a tie for the first time this year. He sided with the Republicans to cut off the funding. Bolling couldn’t have asked for a better vote to bolster his standing among antiabortion activists, who dominate GOP nominating contests.
“At a time when Governor Kaine has chosen to eliminate $250,000 in state funding for programs that teach abstinence education to young people across Virginia,” Bolling said after his vote, legislators “should not be using taxpayer dollars to fund an organization that uses those funds to provide abortions and abortion-related services.”
Bolling has also been taking an increasingly active role in the Senate Republican caucus, helping its members strategize over how to rebel against the Democratic majority.
As president of the Senate, Bolling gets to decide who has the majority on voice votes.
Even though Democrats almost always have the verbal advantage in the chamber, Bolling often sides with the GOP on voice votes, which forces Democrats to demand recorded votes.
Bolling has also taken a leading role in the partisan debate over the state budget. Bolling, assisted by GOP senators, found a clause in the state constitution that suggested a four-fifths vote was needed to approve the Senate budget because it included a transfer of lottery proceeds.
Senate Democrats voted to override Bolling’s decision, but the Division of Legislative Services released a letter last week that indicated his analysis of the constitution might have been correct…